After a month-long trial, a Fort Worth, Texas, jury returned a defense verdict for American Biltrite Inc. and three other defendants in suits filed by siblings Paul and Suzanne Verret, each of whom was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. Trial lawyers successfully argued that American Biltrite's floor tile could not have caused the injury, and that neighborhood exposures to crocidolite asbestos from a nearby factory were the more likely cause of their cancer.

Mesothelioma is a rare but deadly cancer of the outside linings of the lungs. It is usually associated with asbestos exposure, but can also occur in cases with no known exposure.

The Verrets claimed they were exposed to asbestos-containing construction materials marketed by each of the defendants which were used by their family business, West Side Home Improvement, from the time they were children. However, the Verrets' family home was a half mile from a manufacturing facility where crocidolite asbestos was used in making cement pipe. Asbestos tailings from that plant were used in driveways and parking lots in the neighborhood where the plaintiffs lived as children.

Defense experts testified that the crocidolite asbestos from the plant was the most likely cause of their disease and that the presence of at least 19 other cases of mesothelioma in proximity to the plant represented a significant cancer cluster which supported their opinion about the cause of the Verrets' disease.